Friday, February 06, 2009

Rural Nutrition Class Almost Over!!

Lily has "spotted a moose" and is about to harvest it!
These two are out looking for a moose, they're going to feel much better about the moose meat than the nasty corn-fed beef they could've bought at the grocery store.
We're showing that kids these days would rather do their own thing, fighting against going out to hunt rabbits.
Setting rabbit snares is "fun" (poor bunnies!!)
These two are demonstrating how much more satisfying fishing for lunch is than going through McDonald's drive-through (so glad there aren't fast-food resturants in Unalaska)

I want to make it home! That volcano is acting up again!!
I think the message is sinking in...hunting/fishing/gathering is such a healthier lifestyle. Families participate TOGETHER, they are proud, have self-worth and organic, un-adulterated food as a result of their efforts. Our kids definitely need to participate more than they do now...ok I should too..ughh I'd rather scrapbook and watch DVDs! I see how important it is for families to spend that time picking berries, fishing and hunting (I can't even imagine ME hunting! I'd get cold and dirty and I'd feel sorry for the animals) But I'm OK with my husband hunting all he wants :) I will help more putting the meat up and gladly cook it...that's all I'm doing!
I'm very glad I am participating in this unique pilot Rural Nutrition Services program, I've really changed my views because of it...and gotten a bunch of scientific nutritional information AND gotten to know a lot of fun people too --especially with living with them for a week at a time.


  1. Hey Mel, what are the hunting laws in Unalaska as far as open seasons, licensing, and whatnot?

    Also, I've been reading about just how much of our food supply is "cornfed" and how its not the hearty,healthy image it seems to be...especially the beef. Truly scary stuff.

  2. We have no large critters to hunt in Unalaska, but there are fishing seasons and duck season. I'm wondering about fox and that I care more!
    I don't yet know all the ins and outs of seal and sea lion hunting, except that we don't have enough native to hunt for them :(
    I was raised on regular unhealthy food, this is new to me and I'm loving it...thank goodness my husband knew enough to keep 2 big freezers full of fish and moose/deer whatever he happened to harvest.

  3. but I do LOVE to pick berries...I'll get even more this year! Come pick salmonberries and blueberries with us and make jam Liz!!

  4. Aaah! I thought he got that moose up there! :P I've heard ptarmigan is really good.

    I've been researching farms around my area that practice a much more natural agriculture. I found one that I'm going to visit...hopefully it'll be everything it seems...and an interesting blog post!

    Oh! I'd love to come pick some berries and make jam! (Hey, if I win Dan's contest for a trip up there, we'll make it a go! lol!) There were beautiful fresh blueberries all over the swamp up in Delta!

  5. I want to role play! When you get home we can role play some privacy policy fun!

  6. OK TUE at the 8:00 staff mtg...

    Liz, you practically ARE a "local" but I don't want to talk on that other thread anymore...tooo grouchy! You need to have jam and canned salmon and to try pirok with no onion and I can get pancit too...I hope Dan shows up again so you can win, I sent you a book and you got a t-shirt from my buddy too!

  7. What an interesting program. I eat very little meat as quite frankly, I just don't like it. I have tried venison, rabbit, duck, alligator etc, but with the exception of rabbit, I just don't like the flavor of game. I attribute that to my blase attitude about meat in general. I am interested in the gathering portion of your program. I have a 1/2 acre, and once I have completed my masters, I'll have a little time to garden! We do have a large vegetable farm a few miles from here, and you have inspired me to start pick'in! I realize it isn't the same as gathering "wild" ,but it is probably better than the grocery. Does your program have a formal curriculum? Is it designed specifically for the flora and fauna of Alaska, or could it be applied elsewhere?

  8. I can share whatever you want to know! I love it that you're inspired!! Our program is completely Alaskan...mostly geared to the northern interior Athabaskans, the two of us from the Aleutians have to remember that... traditionally seals or sea lions harvested instead of moose??

    It's a pilot program, they have a curriculum, but nothing formally bound as they're inventing it as we go along. This is our 2nd semester. We are using this book:

    I read so many books on this subject too: Fast Food Nation, In Defense of Food etc.

    The diet they're recommending makes sense and it'd be similar to what the indigenous peoples ate in the lower 48 before agriculture caused them to narrow food choices (and thereby limiting nutrients received) If you eat 50 different things you get a wide variety of nutrients, if you eat potatoes or corn or wheat and tea you are not getting many and your health will suffer.
    Add in all the chemicals and genetically modified, irradiated foods....ughh YUK

    I'm jealous of Alena's garden and need to start growing some food too! Or at least harvesting more than just berries. Alena's mom is an expert in the field of local medicinal plants, maybe they'll share some knowledge with me this spring/summer/fall!

    Another facet of the curriculum is the pride that people had when they loaded their caches with food, the many many hours families spent walking, talking, being TOGETHER in the many processes they undertook to get enough food to eat year 'round. People in Alaska generally do not do this anymore, what do they do? Get depressed, drink.....We've had guest speakers, heard recordings from people who lived a traditional lifestyle, eaten some of the foods...I am going to be BRAVE and try more at home this year!

    I could go on and on... lol

    Alena, no lufsta (sp?) (fermented seal flipper) but I will be braver this year!! :)

  9. What an exciting field to be involved with. The master's degree I am currently working toward is in education, so not only do I see the value in this program for the social, economical and nutritional benefits, but also as a rare opportunity to study a progressive, reconstructionalist educational curriculum in action!!!!!!!! Jeepers how spiffy! Thank you for the link. I'll be taking a close look at that book, AND with your permission, I will share your experience with my curriculum professor. Seal flipper...hummmmm an acquired taste perhaps? LOL

  10. Wow...Who know it was all that?? LOL..
    Feel free to tell your professor, I'm telling everyone, it's all I've done for the last week, so it's on my mind...
    Here's a news article about the program after our 1st week-long intensive:

    Seal Flipper's taste can't possibly improve by fermenting it...IMHO Alena??

  11. LOL! Mel, thanks for the "local" status! ha! I can't wait to get that shirt!!! The book, I sent on to Bettina to read before it comes back to you. :) I understand the grouchiness on the other thread...some folks...crazy! No word from Dan, so I guess it's not me! :*( Oh well! lol!!

    Speaking of the native food program, (I'll be checking out your links too.)after getting deeply engrossed in The Omnivore's Dilemma, I fell in love with the "Polyface Farms method" so I decided to see if anything similar existed here...and I found a farm that runs on the same principles. I contacted the owners and am planning to go and volunteer for a day and check out their farm. I have to give them a call later to set up the time. I like the idea of "eating off the grid" per say...not only to support the local econ, but, my gosh, what are we doing to our food supply nowadays? It's an odd nation that works so hard to poison itself! As far as growing things myself, I'd love to...but I seem to have the black thumb of death. lol!

    Hiya Mystic!! *waves*